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InterUrban ArtHouse: Photography Group

Art at Gardner LibraryInterUrban ArtHouse: Photography Group

Monday, Jan 29, 2018 to Sunday, Apr 22, 2018 at Gardner Library

InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) is a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment. This exhibition features local photographers currently working with IUAH. We're happy to share an interview with one of those artists, Sharon Rodriguez.

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What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

Message comes first.  What message do I want to tell about person experiencing homeless-ness.  Then comes the medium which conveys the message. 

I started this project with questions.  Do we have homelessness in Johnson County?  What do they look like?  Where are they?  These photographs in this “”It’s About Time” art show are the answers to these and many more questions.

What do you feel is your role as an artist?

To raise awareness of the social in/justice issues facing Johnson County the most affluent county in Kansas.  These homeless people are not going away!  In fact the “problem” is getting worse.

What influences your practice/works?

Seeing through my heart is what my work is about.  I see the faces of real people, not someone to be ignored or pushed aside.  I am considered a free-lance photographer.  I work on projects that draw my interest.

Who are the other artists you look to for inspiration? And what about their works do you like?  

Dorothea Lange inspires me because she had a passion for telling the people of plight’s story through her photographs.

What other writings do you recommend reading to have a better understanding of your artworks and your art practice/process? Please look through our on-line catalog and provide any links to resources that you would recommend.

Finding Grace by Lynn Blodgett https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/805551036

Voice in the Mirror by Gordon Parks https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/133908036

Photographs of Dorothea Lange https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/241270036

Homeless Not Invisible my book https://jocolibrary.bibliocommons.com/item/show/1534292036

InterUrban ArtHouse (IUAH) is a non-profit organization creating a new hub for arts and culture in Johnson County, Kansas. IUAH’s mission is to enrich the cultural and economic vibrancy of Downtown Overland Park and surrounding community by creating a place where artists and creative industries can work and prosper in an affordable, sustainable and inclusive environment. This exhibition features local photographers currently working with IUAH. We're happy to share an interview with one of those artists, Sharon Rodriguez.

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What comes first – the medium or the message? Tell me a little about the work that will be on view.

Message... Continue »

Jocomakes

Create At Your Local Makerspace

Make48 interviewed our very own Maker Ayah about our MakerSpace. We think the most important quote is this:

One thing to know before going: anyone and everyone are welcome to take advantage of the MakerSpace. 

Check out the full article here »

Make48 interviewed our very own Maker Ayah about our MakerSpace. We think the most important quote is this:

One thing to know before going: anyone and everyone are welcome to take advantage of the MakerSpace. 

Check out the full article here »

https://soundcloud.com/anothermaxwell

anothermaxwell

anothermaxwell is Shenita Hughley, a multitalented singer-songwriter, producer and instrumentalist whose music combines hip-hop, R&B and synthpop elements into an engaging whole. She recorded and produced her latest EP, Masterpiece, entirely by herself, right down to the artwork, a process she describes as "a difficult task." We're fortunate to share an interview with Hughley about her creative process, her inspirations and what's ahead for her in 2018.

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Please introduce yourself. Describe your music for new listeners.

I am anothermaxwell, singer-songwriter and producer. My music is eclectic; a wave of mellow melodies with reverb. I dabble in multiple genres such as alternative R&B and atmospheric pop, chill-wave, nu jazz/soul. My music is pretty chill and dark sensual, in a sort of "new silk sheets" kind of way.

Continue »
All Kinds of Friends

New Storywalk at Antioch Park

The days are getting a bit warmer, and next time you're itching to get to the park, don't just take a walk, take a Storywalk! At Antioch Park, you and your little ones can enjoy a story while you stroll. Our newest featured book is All Kinds of Friends, a book about friendships with old friends, young friends, furry friends, feathered friends, "friends with different ways to walk," and "friends with different ways to talk." Thanks to Johnson County Park and Recreation for this partnership.

The days are getting a bit warmer, and next time you're itching to get to the park, don't just take a walk, take a Storywalk! At Antioch Park, you and your little ones can enjoy a story while you stroll. Our newest featured book is All Kinds of Friends, a book about friendships with old friends, young friends, furry friends, feathered friends, "friends with different ways to walk," and "friends with different ways to talk." Thanks to Johnson County Park and Recreation for this partnership.

Read Local

Enter a Writing Contest

We love reading local, and we love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

We love reading local, and we love local authors here at the Library. In support of our home-grown talent, we invite submissions of poetry, fiction, and essays.

Each month we host a new contest with prizes including a $200 honorarium and a reading at the Library or The Writers Place. Read more about the guidelines and enter your original works here »

Lenexa City Center signage

Signs of Progress

While we’re building the Lenexa City Center Library, Construction Manager Turner Construction Company has arranged for a barrier wall facing the popular Public Market and City Hall. The Library designed the images to reflect our patrons, services and programs, along with a rendering of the completed library building. In total, it’s more than 250 feet of Library imagery! The signs were fabricated and installed by Lawrence, KS-based Star Signs. You can also see their handiwork at the Central and Oak Park Libraries. Read more news about our new building projects »

While we’re building the Lenexa City Center Library, Construction Manager Turner Construction Company has arranged for a barrier wall facing the popular Public Market and City Hall. The Library designed the images to reflect our patrons, services and programs, along with a rendering of the completed library building. In total, it’s more than 250 feet of Library imagery! The signs were fabricated and installed by Lawrence, KS-based Star Signs. You can also see their handiwork at the Central and Oak Park Libraries. Read more news about our new building projects »

Lacie and Michelle

I Like It Better Over There

When Monticello Library opens later this year, it will house a circulating collection of almost 100,000 items: books, CDs and DVDs. There are also shelves for Holds, Periodicals and Newspapers. That’s a lot of shelves,  at least 1900 linear feet at last count.

Our resident specialists in shelf capacity and location are Michelle Olsen, Circulation Manager, and Lacie Griffin, Collection Development Manager. As part of the building design and construction process, they’ve logged hundreds of hours poring over layouts, blueprints, floorplans and diagrams to maximize our shelf locations to make as much material as possible available to patrons of our newest branch.

As you may well understand, they like to get it right the first time. A “range” of shelves is made of 7 shelving units side-by-side and back-to-back. Each unit contains 5 shelves and is 64” tall x 36” wide x 12” deep. SO: each 21-foot long range contains 70 shelves, and at an estimated 100 pounds per shelf, that’s almost 4 tons of books! It takes a lot to get them moved, so you can see why we do so much planning!

When Monticello Library opens later this year, it will house a circulating collection of almost 100,000 items: books, CDs and DVDs. There are also shelves for Holds, Periodicals and Newspapers. That’s a lot of shelves,  at least 1900 linear feet at last count.

Our resident specialists in shelf capacity and location are Michelle Olsen, Circulation Manager, and Lacie Griffin, Collection Development Manager. As part of the building design and construction process, they’ve logged hundreds of hours poring over layouts, blueprints, floorplans and diagrams to maximize our shelf locations to make as much material as possible available to patrons of our newest branch.

As you may well understand, they like to get it right the first... Continue »

Beth Welsh

Why I Give My TimeWhy I Give My Time

A quick interview with JCL Foundation Volunteer Extraordinaire Beth Welsh

Why did you initially become a volunteer with the Johnson County Library Foundation?

I was in a place where I was feeling stuck in rut and was looking for new experiences. Also, I work from home and I wanted to get out of the house and interact with people. My husband Barry is a longtime volunteer for the Library and it seemed like it would be a good fit. I’m a lifetime learner, I always want to be learning new things, I don’t want to stagnate. I began volunteering at Friends book sales in 2007 and became a fill-in cashier for the Friends bookstores in 2011. Volunteering for the Foundation struck me as a fun opportunity to learn new things. I learned WordPress and social media marketing. Fortunately, I didn’t have to learn anything about grant writing!

What are some of your favorite things about being a volunteer?

I love getting to play with books and be around librarians. Library people are awesome – and that includes Foundation people! They’re smart, inquisitive and well informed.

Have you had any discoveries about the Library or the Foundation working as a volunteer?

The Foundation was a new discovery; I didn’t know anything about it before volunteering. I learned about the Foundation’s mission to build an endowment for the Library’s collection and find support for lifelong learning programs offered at the Library. I also discovered the Foundation events. The Pinnacle Awards, Library Lets Loose, Stay Home and Read a Book Ball and elementia. My favorite Foundation event is the Library Lets Loose – it’s pretty amazing. elementia is also a fun event tied to a great mission to encourage teen writers and artists.

Any advice for people who might be on the fence about volunteering?

Try it! There are so many outlets for volunteering at the Library. Visit a branch, or the Friends sorting center or bookstore – see what interests you. Volunteer coordinators can connect you with a volunteer opportunity that works with your schedule and meets your interests. If it sounds like fun, give it a shot.

A quick interview with JCL Foundation Volunteer Extraordinaire Beth Welsh

Why did you initially become a volunteer with the Johnson County Library Foundation?

I was in a place where I was feeling stuck in rut and was looking for new experiences. Also, I work from home and I wanted to get out of the house and interact with people. My husband Barry is a longtime volunteer for the Library and it seemed like it would be a good fit. I’m a lifetime learner, I always want to be learning new things, I don’t want to stagnate. I began volunteering at Friends book sales in 2007 and became a fill-in cashier for the Friends bookstores in 2011. Volunteering for the Foundation struck me as a fun opportunity to... Continue »

Arts in Prison

Arts in Prison

Arlin Buyert, center, is poetry instructor for the Arts in Prison project. JoAnna Ramsey, l, and Lex Cortes, r, are former classmates in the project.

Johnson County Library partners with Kansas City’s The Writers Place on a series of readings: the Thomas Zvi Wilson series. As part of that series, the Arts in Prison project is occasionally scheduled. A February 20 public reading at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center featured participants who read from works produced in the class.

Arts in Prison has been an institution at the Lansing Correctional Facility for more than two decades, and officials behind its poetry program believe it’s helping keep reformed inmates out of jail. “The general recidivism rate in Kansas is around 50 percent. Half the inmates are back within three years,” says Arlin Buyert, the poetry instructor. “But, for whatever reason, inmates who participate in my poetry program have almost no recidivism.” According to Buyert, out of the 15 inmates who have gone through the program and have since been released, only one has returned to prison and that was because of a parole violation.

Poet participants say that poetry has a way of breaking down political barriers in prison and helping to alleviate the heavy burdens of a dark past. “Prison is very segregated, and in poetry you have a mix of different people,” JoAnna Ramsey says. "Getting past prison life is a process and it’s slow, but being able to write helps that along."

“Poetry gives people an opportunity to know they are still people,” Ramsey says. “The great part about America is that we’re a land of second chances, and poetry and art is something that connects us all.” Buyert echoed Ramsey’s sentiments, adding that it’s easy for people outside of prison to forget that those inside are still people. “They’re human. They have worth. They’re poets,” Buyert said.

This post relies on notes published about the reading by reporter Zac Summers in an online article for local Fox affiliate. See his story here.

Arlin Buyert, center, is poetry instructor for the Arts in Prison project. JoAnna Ramsey, l, and Lex Cortes, r, are former classmates in the project.

Johnson County Library partners with Kansas City’s The Writers Place on a series of readings: the Thomas Zvi Wilson series. As part of that series, the Arts in Prison project is occasionally scheduled. A February 20 public reading at the Johnson County Arts & Heritage Center featured participants who read from works produced in the class.

Arts in Prison has been an institution at... Continue »

Ayah

Meet Your Maker: Ayah

Hi! I’m Johnson County Library’s newest MakerSpace Facilitator. I specialize in A/V production and storytelling, but in the MakerSpace you can find help for all sorts of projects, from bookmaking to building your own computer. I’m sure lots of you are thinking of starting something new, so I thought I’d share some tips for long term project management. Today I’m going to talk about margin, but this is only the first of a four-part series, so you can always check back for more!

I’m no stranger to long term projects. When you write books or feature-length films, it just comes with the territory. The methods we normally use for projects start to fall apart when you’re doing something long term or trying to work towards a bigger picture. When I initially wrote my four principles behind project management, it was aimed at filmmakers, because that was my background. But I’ve found that the lessons I learned earnestly apply to any ambition, and I hope that you’ll find them as useful as I have.

First things first: be sure to overestimate. If you a want to work on anything over an extended period of time, you need room for error. A lot of room for error. I’ve often been told that my projects are ambitious, and they might seem that way from the outside. But in truth, I try as much as I can to overestimate how much time and resources I’ll need for every step. Thing you can get by with a 10,000 budget? Double it. Will you need, say, two weeks to write a proposal? Triple it. And if you think you’ll be able to export that video in ten hours, make it forty.

Margin isn’t just about scheduling time, though. It’s also about archiving what you’re doing, and project security. Back up your assets. If I expect to record 1 or 2 terabytes of video footage, I get a 4 terabyte drive. I back everything up and I have a backup plan for the backup plan. I store my hard drives, equipment, and props carefully, where they won’t be exposed to serious temperature changes or accidental misuse.

This might sounds irrationally cautious, but think of it this way: If some resource or information for your project disappeared, what would be willing to do to get it back? You can do at least that much to prevent yourself from having the problem to begin with. Of course, you can’t care for every aspect of a project with the same level of importance. Decide your priorities ahead of time so that if things don’t go as planned, you know what you’re willing to compromise on, and what things you’re willing to fight for.

Archiving your project not only eases your workflow, it does a favor for your future self. It’s easy to know what all the pieces in a project mean when you’re in the center of the work, but neglecting to record your process is a major loss. Keep your notes, sketches, and mind maps; you can use them for future projects. And most importantly, keep a record of your mistakes and what you learned from them. You will forget. You’re human. You may be steeped in your work now, but once it fades, you know don’t when you’ll get another chance to record that next album or whatever it is you want to do. By recording your mistakes, you save yourself the trouble of having to reinvent the wheel every time. 

Hi! I’m Johnson County Library’s newest MakerSpace Facilitator. I specialize in A/V production and storytelling, but in the MakerSpace you can find help for all sorts of projects, from bookmaking to building your own computer. I’m sure lots of you are thinking of starting something new, so I thought I’d share some tips for long term project management. Today I’m going to talk about margin, but this is only the first of a four-part series, so you can always check back for more!

I’m no stranger to long term projects. When you write books or feature-length films, it just comes with the territory. The methods we normally use for projects start to fall apart when you’re doing something long term or trying to work towards a bigger... Continue »

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